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Milkweed and Monarchs: Using Native Plants to Create Monarch Stations

  • TaborSpace 5441 Southeast Belmont Street Portland, OR, 97215 United States (map)

“Milkweed and Monarchs: Using Native Plants to Create Monarch Stations”

The monarch butterfly lays its eggs exclusively on the milkweed plant (Asclepias spp.), and the monarch larvae only feed on milkweed. With land development and shifting management practices, we have lost much of the milkweed from the landscape. Monarch “waystations” are being created - small areas of pollinator habitat that monarchs can visit for nectar, larval food, and egg-laying during their spring and summer breeding periods. Tom Landis, a retired forester and nursery specialist, will describe his efforts over the past 5 years in the Rogue Valley to create monarch waystations, sharing both successes and failures.  Through his efforts with three milkweeds native to western Oregon and many other nectar plants, he has learned which are most effective in attracting monarchs and other pollinators. He will highlight both the native plants that can be the backbone of pollinator gardens and selected non-natives and cultivars that can be valuable additions.

Tom Landis is a forester who retired after 30 years of working as a nursery specialist for the US Forest Service. Using his nursery experience, Tom has been creating pollinator habitat by growing and planting native milkweeds and other nectar plants in monarch waystations throughout southern Oregon. As a founding member of the Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates (SOMA), Tom has given over 80 monarchs and milkweeds presentations and workshops including one at a Society of Ecological Restoration meeting in Manchester, England.  SOMA is also involved in controlled rearing, and, last year, SOMA members raised and released over 2,500 monarchs to help restore populations of this iconic butterfly.